While the world and her dog have become embroiled in the relational interplay between Catherine and TLR; and now Ryan, Sally Wainwright has positioned the kinship story of Ryan and his warrior Grandma, Catherine, as central to the story and of equal, if not more importance, from the opening minutes of episode 1 to his growing, though limited, maturity in series 3.
In episode 1, within minutes we are introduced to Ryan as a small child with ongoing difficulties. When Catherine is again called into school and she explains to the teacher why Ryan has such difficulties, this is our lived experience. Series 1 clearly lays out the difficulties relating to the circumstance of Ryan's early life and the potentially devastating effect this has on children and their families. Real life holds the same tragedies for kinship carers. No support from outside the family is ever seen, just as in the wider world.
Sally Wainwright has powerfully illustrated the wider challenges brought to (all) families who are kinship caring. Like Catherine, for all kinship carers, our difficulties are always present.